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It’s March and that means it’s time to start planning your St. Patrick’s day celebration. For us St. Paddy’s day is all about comfort food and good beer.
When it comes to the day’s menu and you need a good bread fast, Irish soda bread is the bread to make. Since it gets its lift with baking soda instead of yeast, it doesn’t need time to rise and bakes up in one hour start to finish. Studded with sweet currants, serve this St. Patrick’s Day favorite with hearty soups and stews throughout the chilly month of March and beyond.
Homemade Irish Soda Bread
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup currants
- 1 3/4 cups well-shaken buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar, and butter and mix it with your fingers until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the currants and buttermilk and stir just until dough is evenly moistened.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes or until it becomes slightly less sticky and tightens up. Halve the dough and form into 2 balls. Pat out each ball into a domed 6-inch round on the parchment lined baking sheet. Cut a 1/2-inch deep X on top of each loaf with a sharp knife, then brush the loaves with the melted butter.
- Bake the bread in middle of the preheated oven until golden brown and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes.
- Transfer the loaves to racks to cool completely. Irish soda bread is best served the day it’s made but it will make nice toast the next day.